Story and photos by Jim Robinson
DETROIT, MICH. – It was mix of green but mostly mean from the domestic automakers at this year’s North American Auto Show in Detroit.
With oil and interest rates near record lows, the Domestic Three are providing power to the people.
Cadillac’s 2016 CTS-V is the most powerful product in the brand’s 112-year history and the newest entry in the elite class of the world’s highest-performing luxury cars.
Launching in late summer, it has 640 hp, 630 lb/ft of torque and a top speed of 200 mph.
It also introduces a new supercharged 6.2-litre V8 engine backed by Cadillac’s paddle-shift eight-speed automatic transmission, featuring launch control and Performance Algorithm Shifting.
With more horsepower and torque than the Mercedes-Benz 5.5-litre biturbo V8 and the BMW M-series 4.4-litre TwinPower (twin-turbo) V8, the new CTS-V is capable of 0-60 mph performance in 3.7 seconds.
Chevrolet kicked off the green with two electric cars starting with the next generation Volt now with a battery-only range of up to 80 km.
The 2016 Volt’s two-motor drive system is up to 12 per cent more efficient and 45 kg (100 lb) lighter and it is also 19 per cent faster in 0-48 km/h acceleration.
Besides its better drive, a new 1.5-litre range-extending gasoline engine runs on regular fuel and has an estimated fuel rating of 5.7L/100 km. Battery capacity has increased to 18.4 kWh using 192 cells (96 fewer than current generation) with weight reduced by more than 9 kg (20 lb).
Also on the Chevrolet stand was the Bolt EV concept that looks to the longer-range all-electric vehicle that can travel more than 300 km but can also be affordable.
Designed to support DC fast charging, it is possible to choose between driving modes from daily commuting or sporty driving with the modes being able to adjust the accelerator mapping.
Besides use of lightweight materials, the Bolt EV makes extensive use of glass for an airy interior including a full-length frosted glass roof.
Built into the Bolt EV is park-and-retrieve technology where the Bolt can park itself while the driver runs errands and then can be summoned to wherever the driver is standing.
The 2016 MKX had its world premiere in Detroit, aimed to luxury buyers around the world.
Going on sale in Canada the end of this year, the MKX gets an available 2.7-litre EcoBoost V6 with 330 hp and 370 lb/ft of torque making it the most powerful MKX yet.
It comes standard with Lincoln Drive Control, a suite of ride-enhancing technologies that optimizes performance and offers three distinct modes: Normal, Sport and Comfort. Lincoln’s Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive is also standard.
Ford was all about performance this year in Detroit with the announcement of the Ford GT supercar, the Shelby GT350R Mustang and the next generation off-road F-150 Raptor.
The stunning 2016 Ford GT has already been covered but just as impressive was the Shelby GT350R Mustang that is easily the “most track-ready road-going production Mustang ever built.”
At the world press launch in Detroit, Ford said that every single component of the new Mustang was evaluated. If it did not add to the performance, the part was deleted, which is why there is no air conditioning or backup camera.
Changes were made to to the front splitter to maximize downforce, while an all-new huge high-efficiency carbon fibre rear wing has been added in anticipation of competition use.
With military grade aluminum body, the all-new Raptor gets an exclusive 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 that pumps out more power than the 411 hp and 434 lb/ft of torque from the 6.2-litre V8 in the outgoing model.
Ram describes the 2015 1500 Rebel as bringing “one-of-a-kind off-road design to the full-size truck segment.”
It starts with air suspension to increase ride height along with standard 33-inch tires on all-new 17-inch aluminum wheels.
Sold as a crew cab model with five-foot, seven-inch bed, buyers will have a choice of either a 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 (305 hp, 269 lb/ft) or a 5.7-litre Hemi V8 (395 hp, 410 lb/ft) with eight-speed automatic transmission.
Both versions feature a rear anti-spin differential which turns both rear wheels in tandem when increased torque is applied, which is most helpful in off-road driving conditions.
The design automatically unlocks the differential for normal on-road driving, allowing the wheels to spin independently for improved drivability.
Prior to unveiling the Rebel, Ram announced the 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel HFE now delivers the highest fuel economy among all full-size truck competitors at 12 per cent higher than the next-closest competitor. Its “HFE” designation is Ram’s way of highlighting this model’s excellent fuel efficiency.
Ram EcoDiesel HFE gets an EPA-certified (US) 29 mpg highway fuel economy rating. EcoDiesel HFE’s city and combined mpgs are (US) 21 and (US) 24, respectively, also highest among all pickups.
Ram also took the time to announce it now holds the record for towing at 13,608 kg (30,000 lb) thanks to the 865 lb/ft of torque from the 6.7-litre Cummins turbo diesel 3500 model